Jesse Willms Banned by Judge from Negative Option Selling – Assets Frozen!

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Jesse Willms Banned by Judge from Negative Option Selling – Assets Frozen!

Frozen Assets

Frozen Assets

CBC (with whom Willms has already had a tussle) in Canada are already broadcasting that local high-school athlete drop-out turned internet businessman of dubious repute, the self-styled and self-publicising entrepreneur & charitable Jesse Willms, has had some shackles applied to his business by the order, by a Seattle court, to freeze his assets (in case they’re needed to payout to his alleged victims and fines) and also to not use the negative option gambit in any of his websites.

See the CBC report (and wonderful video) here:

U.S. judge freezes assets of Alberta internet salesman

CBC report on the FTC lawyer Robert Schroeder saying,

The judge also froze the assets of Willms and his companies

I'm not a Flim-flam guy!

I'm not a Flim-flam guy!

This could be the main reason why CBC say that all his websites (that they know of, at least) are down and that his phone is dead.   I’ve checked and the dismal self-publicity blogs are still running, which they would be I suppose, as they’re not selling anything except the idea that Willms is a “good guy”.  The judge is Marsha J. Pechman, Federal Judge out of the Western District Court of Seattle according to the post I’ve linked to.  It finishes with the words:

While Jesse Willms has not responded much to these accusations, he has hired many firms to engage in a positive PR and SEO campaign and consistently sends out news releases claiming that he has been assisting charities with financial donations. Additionally, there are at least a dozen “blogs” setup by Mr. Willms to counteract the negative press with positive SERPS.

This is exactly what this website and many others have been saying for over a year now!  “Performance Marketing Insider” also states that:

Currently, according to news reports, there is a both a consumer and criminal investigation against Mr. Willms in Canada.

Well this is good! And only fair – fair to the thousands and thousands of people that feel duped by Willms’ activities.  Roll on next year – Willms is scheduled for trial in the U.S. in July 2012.  Should be sooner.

According to the CBC report, we see another aspect of Willms’ doings whereby he very rarely admits to any mistakes or wrong-doings.  It’s always someone else’s fault, in his world.  CBC say;

Willms has blamed unscrupulous business associates who he claims defrauded him by stealing credit card numbers in order to generate commissions with bogus sales.

I say,

What?  All of them?  All $457 million dollars worth?

Pull the other one!

Willms’ local paper, the Edmonton Journal, also reports on the asset-freezing story here.  They don’t say anything new – but it’s nice to keep the locals informed, don’t you think?

All those local charities that Willms has been plugging his exploits with over the past year must surely be examining their credibility in the eyes of their donating public.  This connection (and to fair, the charges are not proven yet) to Willms is starting to look very bad for them, people have long memories and mud does stick.  Ask any politician!

Surely?

Jesse Willms and Nolan Paquet

Jesse Willms (r), in the source of the famous grinning shot.

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8 responses .

  1. Strangely says:

    CBC also reported last June that he has a full Competition Bureau investigation into his activities.  The seized documents show that he made $121m in under 2 years on his Wu-Yi Tea wheeze;

    Willms controls dozens of websites which sell products like tooth whiteners and weight-loss aids as well as operating the penny auction site SwipeBids.com. Court documents show sales of Wu Yi weight loss tea totalled $121 million in under two years.

    Mr. Willms and his companies were advertising these products as free trials when in fact they were soliciting sensitive personal information from people including credit card information and unwittingly committing people to ongoing subscriptions”

    Now we know how he can be so charitable and why we keep calling his 1,2, or $3k donations, pathetic.

  2. Strangely says:

    Internet Scam Axed in the Name of Oprah

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/14/39760.htm

    The above link is another site reporting the story of Willms’ clamp-down & ban pending the trial set for next year.  Maybe he’ll appeal?  Wait and see, eh?

    Tellingly, this article gives a bit more depth to the first news releases.  We find that the ban has much wider effects than we first thought.

    1. Tuesday’s injunction also applies to five alleged co-conspirators and 10 companies that Willms either owns or controls. – the actual injunction is now seen to be against Willms alone, along with his companies.  The judge has said that any collusion or naughty doings by the other five will bring the freeze on them. (Info from Justin Askin here).  The full court injunction order is attached as 110913jwillmspiorder.pdf
    2. We find that the injunction prohibits Willms and others from offering any products or services as a “free trial” or “bonus.”
    3. We see that they are banned from misrepresenting costs or making claims about any product’s performance, benefits or safety.
    4. The FTC Amended Complaint (pdf file attached to this comment) says that “Regardless of the product or service offered, Willms and the others “induce customers to enter their credit or debit card information by making false claims about the nature of the offer, including the total cost to the consumer, recurring monthly charges that the Willms defendants make to the consumer’s account, and the availability of refunds””
    5. The complaint also says “Willms gets consumers’ credit card numbers by obscuring critical information about the terms and conditions of supposedly free offers. Such text “is displayed in small fonts, using pale colors that are difficult to view,” and “the information hidden in lengthy and dense prose that is difficult to understand,””  – n.b. this is exactly what Pacific WebWorks were up to in their “templates” made for Google Treasure Chest etc that swamped the web 3 years ago..
    6. The judge on Tuesday said “the FTC submitted ample evidence to support an injunction and prove that Willms and others likely violated the Fair Trade Practices Act with their past and current websites.”  She rejected the defendants’ argument that their current websites are not deceptive, pointing to ample evidence from the FTC that the sites still do not disclose the charges.  (so much for Jesse Willms’ assertion that all his websites are clean and truthful, or whatever…)
    7. Also, because the FTC in it’s trawl through Willms’ offices etc. found email exchanges of financial dealings, the judge said she had a strong basis to freeze Willms’ assets because the emails showed that “funds were likely transferred from Willms’ accounts to Cyprus and possibly for the purpose of hiding assets”  – (This is what we (especially @Not Kevin have been going on about for years!  Perhaps they should check out Nevis too…?  )

    All in all, it’s a very well reported piece in the link above from Courthouse News.  They even go on to mention Willms’ self-congratulatory blogs where he dismally promotes himself as the “Internet Good Guy

    The “Bad” Guys: straight from the court documents

    1. JESSE WILLMS, individually and as a director or owner of 1021018, 1016363, and 1524948 Alberta Ltd; Circle Media Bids Limited; Coastwest Holdings Limited; Farend Services Ltd; JDW Media, LLC; Net Soft Media, LLC; Sphere Media, LLC; and True Net, LLC;
    2. PETER GRAVER, individually and as an officer of JDW Media, LLC;
    3. ADAM SECHRIST, individually and as a director and shareholder of Circle Media Bids Limited and manager of Sphere Media, LLC;
    4. BRETT CALLISTER, individually and as an officer of True Net, LLC;
    5. CAREY L. MILNE, individually and as an officer of Net Soft Media, LLC;
    6. ELIZABETH GRAVER, individually and as an officer of Mobile Web Media, LLC;

    On reading the documents, we see that the FTC have in-depth claims about the linkages and ownerships of the various legal entities in the case.  Obviously, their power of research and resources are much greater than the people that have contributed here, but it all seems to be exactly what we’ve discovered over the years, some of it in more depth than us (naturally), sometimes omitting the potential links to County Durham, Nevis, Gibralter and the Philipines that we’ve discovered.  Maybe they’ll be able to shed some light on these before or during the trial next year?

    Finally, it looks like folks are coming to see the value in what we’ve been saying for years.

    • Let’s hope the real trial finds the same.
    • Let’s hope (no matter how the trial turns out) that the charities which have accepted his tainted dollars soon spot the devilish functions at work here (a Buddhist concept, I know) and prominently put the blockers on him.  This is the only way that his self-promotional blogging will be de-vitalised.
    • Let’s hope that the charlatans across the web are watching all of this very closely, for ordinary people’s sake.
  3. Peter Farrahy says:

    Is it not strange, given the events outlined, that this practice is alive and well and operating right now.

    Perfectradiance.co.uk , Perfectradiance.org, Perfectradiance.net  and other sites are offering free samples of anti wrinkle creams.  There are also some phoney news sites, channel4online.co.uk is a good example.  These are purporting to be giving a news report on how good these product are with links to the purchase sites.

    In the small print they disclaim any content on the site as being true!

    If this is not our boy it is his clone.

    Banking from Cyprus and posting from Scotland in the U.K.  Just like that berry thing.

    On the one hand we have Congress seeking to control the internet in order to protect Corporate America and on the other, obvious misleading promotions are ignored and allowed to prosper.

    Rumour has it that up to 9.000 packages a day are being dispatched from Scotland.

    ALL those people are going to get a hell of a shock when their bank account and credit cards start leaking hundreds of Dollars/pounds/euro a month to pay for the contract supply of products of questionable value and use.

     

     

  4. Strangely says:

    Very strange indeed Peter!

    Willms is just one big shark in a large pond of predatory fish.  The methods have been used for about a decade now and the actual operations (I won’t call them businesses) are like whack-a-mole.

    This link below shows the large number of folks that have been sucked into the scam:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3475221&page=3

    If it’s Willms behind it all (which I doubt) then he’s in strict breakage of the rules personally laid against him that he should inform the authorities about each and every website he owns or is linked to and that all WHOIS requests should not be cloaked by anonymity proxies.

    One thing of note is that the Linlithgow address is now cloaked behind a P.O. Box whereas previously it was shown directly.  You can see this here on one of the sites’ Terms & Conditions (it was a redirect from one of your Perfect Radiance URLs!)

    http://www.revitaderm.co.uk/xpq/show/detail.aspx?prod=REVITAD&nametype=termsandconditions

    I’ve highlighted this as well as their return terms which are in strict contravention of the United Kingdom’s distance selling regulations!  These apply to web purchases as well and specifically, within a “reasonable time period” which depends on the type of goods bought, anyone can return goods free of charge and the transport costs must be borne by the seller.

    Amazon (for instance) do this by sending you a prepaid label to be used with the original packaging and also arrange the item collection.

    Compare and contrast to the bollocks in Linlithgow.

    As for channel4online.  It’s a template that we’ve seen many many time.  The French newsreader is now replaced by another woman.  A TineEye image search on the web currently shows the following sites with her face!

  5. Strangely says:

    Also note that the Guardian had an article last October on this very thing!

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2011/oct/14/perfect-radiance-fee-offer

  6. Peter Farrahy says:

    I must confess that, in addition to my ignorance of these predatory practices, I am an old time net user.  Back to an Amiga 1000.

    I believe we must allow the net to remain as free as possible as the traditional media falls into the hands of fewer and fewer people.  I have learned more in a couple of days, on how these scams operate, on this site than on all the so titled “Scam watcher /fraud” sites put together,

    The good news is we have the internet.

    The bad news is we have the internet

    Having said that, I want to thank you and wish you well.

  7. Strangely says:

    Thanks Peter.

    The net is great of that I’m certain, and gives untold knowledge and thus power to billions, allowing them to make educated choices on all of life’s problems.  What these internet scammers are doing however, is not new.  It’s as old as money itself, probably.  It’s just fraud, deception & theft using a new method – the internet!

    When I was at school, one of my friends called Dave Brown used to have me foxed with the magic tricks that he was learning for his life in magic.  I knew the cards didn’t disappear; after all, I’m a rational intelligent man.

    It’s the same with websites and their cons.  Just like sleight-of-hand tricks, loaded dice, false documentation or straight smash and grab, it’s all the same.  It’s theft.  That’s what people have to know and realise.

    • You won’t get thin.
    • You won’t get rich.
    • It is too good to be true.
    • There is no free money.
    • You haven’t been specially chosen to win.

    Rees (And now over to Mr Cooper who explains how it’s done.  The web’s a bit like this.)

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